Monthly Archives: June 2014

“kabbalah me”— A Personal Journey

kabbalah me

“kabbalah me”

A Personal Journey

Amos Lassen

the lower case letters are as they appear in the film 

I just received word that “kabbalah me” is premiering in New York City on August 22. The film is a documentary and a personal journey into Kabbalah, a mystical spiritual experience that is linked to Judaism. Kabbalah is rooted in the Torah and the Talmud and has been studied by leading Judaic scholars for many centuries. However, many Jews are unaware or uninformed about Kabbalah and its significance. This film tells the story of how co-director Steven Bram, feeling a spiritual void in his life, immerses himself into the world of Kabbalah.


Bram was raised in New York as a secular Jew and without much interest in organized religion. He grew up to lead a conventional life – marrying a nice Jewish woman from the suburbs, fathering two beautiful daughters, living on the Upper West Side, and working at a sports and entertainment company. But after 9/11, he felt a longing for a deeper and more fulfilling spiritual life. This longing leads him on a five year journey that includes reconnecting with his Hasidic family members, studying with Judaic scholars, and taking a pilgrimage to Israel, where he immerses himself in the history and traditions of the Holy Land and meets with charismatic Rabbis, Talmudic scholars and spiritual leaders. As Bram’s spiritual journey progresses, the mystical and complex world of Kabbalah, with its varying interpretations and myriad rituals and lessons, slowly unfolds, leading to profound changes in all aspects of his life. The film is directed by Bram and Judah Lazarus.

 Steven Bram has been the COO of New York-based Bombo Sports & Entertainment, LLC since it’s founding in 1999. He has produced over 50 sports films for television, DVD and digital release. He also sits on the board of the Aish Center in New York. Judah Lazarus is a music video director whose work includes videos by AZ, Reakwon of the Wu Tang Clan and Trick Daddy. As an actor Judah played opposite Tim Robbins in Noise. Judah also developed the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner The Believer, starring Ryan Gosling. Judah and his partner Moshe Lazarus now run High Line Productions, which is developing a TV series about Brooklyn’s Hassidic Hipster subculture.

Today is the 41st anniversary of the fire at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans.

Camina Entertainment

Today is the 41st anniversary of the fire

at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans.

At the same time people were celebrating Gay Pride in Los Angeles and New York, people in New Orleans were experiencing TRAGEDY with the largest single gay mass murder in U.S. History.

As you know, for over a year, I’ve been working on a documentary about the fire and its aftermath.  Recently I set up an IndieGoGo campaign to help us cover the expenses associated with telling this important story.


I’ve also been telling you why I think this story is important.  But please watch the video below to hear from survivor of the fire. Hear in his own words WHY this story is important and please consider donating to the production fund.  We only have a few days left.


Don’t wait! Donate here —>


Why is the story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire important? Answered by Ricky Everett (survivor)
Why is the story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire important? Answered by Ricky Everett (survivor)



Check out a recent article about our film,



If you haven’t donated yet, please help us complete the film about the Up Stairs Lounge Fire.  We really need your donations.   Even though we hit our initial goal (which means they charge a smaller service fee), our expenses go beyond that and time is running out.

I hope I can count on your support.
Camina Entertainment





Click the image above or go to

 It threatens to become the most popular dance craze to sweep kindergartens and retirement communities since twerking: “The Dragapella Shuffle!” The new dance video was released today – just in time for the Mississippi Republican Senate primary – by The Kinsey Sicks, America’s (and now Mississippi’s) Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet. With unusually clean lyrics and only arguably suggestive dance moves, the video is sure to become a hit at gay bars, corporate team-building exercises, and ISIS recruiting sessions.

 Be the first kid on your block to watch the video, learn the steps, and introduce it to your next social gathering. You’re sure to be (a) hit!

“Vernita Gray: From Woodstock to the White House” by Tracy Baim and Own Keehen— A Poet, A Writer, An Activist


Baim, Tracy and Owen Keehen. “Vernita Gray: From Woodstock to the White House”, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform,  2014.

A Poet, A Writer, An Activist

Amos Lassen

Vernita Gray has weathered several storms. As an African American girl from Chicago’s South Side, she has experienced the civil rights movement up close. In 1969, after attending the festival at Woodstock, she cane out as a lesbian. She learned of the Stonewall Riots and began a fight for lesbian equality and the entire LGBTQ community and this became her passion. She had already established herself as a poet and a writer as well as an important person in Chicago’s gay liberation movement and then became a lesbian separatist during the decade of the 70s.

In the 1980s she became a restaurant owner with her own place, Sol Sands. Then in the early 90s, she began what was to be an 18 year career with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Bt Vernita was not all work—she had fun as well. She found that when visiting the White House, the experience was so emotional that she often had tears in her eyes and of course, never thought that she would ever see an African American president (just like the rest of us). Obama’s election was very special to her because he was from her hometown. She was actually very lucky to have been present at the Democratic National Convention that chose him as the flag bearer. She was invited to the inauguration and the galas that surrounded it in Washington.

Vernita made her first visit to the White House in June, 2009 for the Pride reception. She had already been diagnosed with cancer and her health waned. She was a fighter for at-risk LGBTQ youth and for marriage equality in Chicago. She died in March, 2014.

In this book by Tracy Baim and Owen Keehen, Vernita’s friends, partners and family share their memories of Vernita. The book was written before her death and it includes interviews with her as well as her poetry. She was a tireless activist who knew the meaning of love and she worked hard against sexism, racism and homophobia. Whatever she did, she did so with a smile.




“A REUNION”— Premiering in Provincetown

a reunion

“A Reunion”

Premiering in Provincetown

Amos Lassen


Josh and Michael are two college friends who take an emotional and eventful road trip from Los Angeles to Chicago to attend their 10-year college reunion. They are both approaching 30 and  live complacently—neither is fulfilled by their daily lives. They want to grow up but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.


As they head eastward across the United States, they visit nine cities, traveling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, to the Grand Canyon, to Albuquerque to Amarillo to St. Louis, and finally landing on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago. This journey across the country reminiscences, confessions, and contradictions of each other’s versions of the past.


The Hebro Pride Event: Cocktails at The Jewish Museum

Purchase $25 tickets HERE (save $10)
Facebook event HERE
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TOMORROW! We look forward to seeing you at the Hebro Pride Event: A Night at the Jewseum, featuring a live jazz trio and an open wine and beer bar.  The galleries will be open exclusively to Hebro for the evening.

$25 online ticket sales available HERE until end of day today. $35 at the door.  Also, the first Hebro Booze Cruise will take place on Sunday, July 27!  Get your early-bird tickets HERE. Happy Pride!

The Hebro Pride Event: Cocktails at The Jewish Museum
Wednesday, June 25
6pm – 9pm

1109 Fifth Avenue
(at 92nd Street)
Online Tickets: $25 – click HERE to purchase
At Door: $35

While your’e at it, purchase reduced tickets to the Hebro Party on a yacht! Music by DJ Steve Sidewalk, open buffet dinner! Click HERE for $20 tickets (save $15)
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“How the Bible Became Holy” by Michael Satlow— A Fascinating Story

how the bible became holy

Satlow, Michael. “How the Bible Became Holy”, Yale University Press, 2014.

A Fascinating Story

Amos Lassen

If you have ever wondered how an ancient collection of obscure Israelite writings became the founding texts of both Judaism and Christianity and are considered holy by followers of each faith, then this is a book that you will want to read.  Michael Satlow uses the latest research, both historical and archeological to trace the story of how, when, and why Jews and Christians gradually granted authority to texts that had long lay dormant and unread in a dusty temple archive. He tells is that the Bible, was not the consecrated book until quite late in its history.

It was in the eighth and ninth centuries that scribes began what would lead to the creation of biblical texts. Then these had to be translated into Greek in the second century before the Common Era and this was done in Egypt.

There were Jews who began to see them as culturally authoritative, comparable to Homer’s works in contemporary Greek society. Then, in the first century B.C.E. in Israel, political machinations resulted in the Sadducees granting legal power to the writings. What we see is how the world that Jesus was born into was biblically illiterate and he knew very little about the texts upon which his apostles would base his spiritual leadership.

We can only imagine the tremendous body of research and scholarly work that Satlow had to deal with to reach his conclusions. He indeed offers some very exciting and provocative new assertions about commonly accepted interpretations of biblical history and also provides us with a look at how two of the world’s great religions cane into being.

Satlow shows that the documentary hypothesis that has been in vogue is just basically a matter of consensus among experts who read biblical literature closely and without theological bias. Satlow asks a different question—how is it that these texts, and not others, come to be regarded as sacred? If they were they uniformly accepted when did this come about? Satlow immediately rejects the traditional explanation that the masses of Israel readily accepted these texts as sacred. What he proposes instead is surprising. Biblical texts, Satlow says, were initially the property of a tiny subclass of elite scribes. They had very little authority, and may even have originated as exercises in transcription. Only much later, as late as the rabbinic period, did the written word achieve such priority. The “people of the book” was a late invention.

“How the Bible Became Holy” is more audacious than “The Composition of the Pentateuch.” Baden stays with literary texts, using extra-textual evidence to support but not greatly advance his readings. Satlow, however, employs archeological evidence, non-biblical texts, and, occasionally, speculation. There is new information here as well– the scribal class only came to Jerusalem after the destruction of the Northern Kingdom. Judea was a backwater, but when the Assyrian-influenced Israelite scribes arrived, they brought sophisticated traditions that transformed Judean religion. Satlow  repeatedly suggests that these texts were nothing more than scribal exercises.

The group from Jerusalem developed its own traditions that included a privileged God and a sacrificial cult. Then there were scribes who had been brought in from Israel who had great influence. The exiled Judeans returned from Babylonia in 539 B.C.E. and they consulted the God-centered texts for authenticity and this led to the texts to become centrally authoritarian. After Babylonia, traditions died; all had been uprooted and the old texts became regarded as ancient wisdom.

I would say that this is an easy read but it is a fascinating and rewarding read. We go from9th century BCE to 3rd century CE and we see how the religious texts that both Jews and Christians regard as holy started out as collections of writing by and for scholarly scribes (not intended to be historical records) and evolved with the spread of knowledge and the desire for intellectual prestige. When Satlow says that Jesus was not familiar with holy writings we might be shocked. Many understood the writings but not the connection to holiness.

Back then, Jewish people as today were spread out into many distinct communities with divergent practices and divergent texts and divergent attitudes towards texts. While Satlow doesn’t emphasize this point it us helps underscore just what an incredible achievement the codification of these writings is. 

“The Renewal of the Kibbutz: From Reform to Transformation” by Raymond Russell, Robert Hanneman and Shlomo Getz— The Changing of a Symbol

the renewal of the kibbutz

Russell, Raymond, Robert Hanneman and Shlomo Getz. “The Renewal of the Kibbutz: From Reform to Transformation”, Rutgers University Press, 2013.

The Changing of a Symbol

Amos Lassen

The kibbutz has come to be a symbol of the State of Israel. It was a new way of living for people who came from all over the world for many different reasons but with goal—to build a nation. We think of the kibbutz as a place for communal living and working. Members work, reside, and eat together, and share income “from each according to ability, to each according to need.” However, in the late 1980s the kibbutzim decided that they needed to change. Reforms were put in place and they were moderate at first. Members were allowed to work outside of the kibbutz framework but their salaries did not go to them but to the collective and they did once. Apartments could be expanded, but housing remained kibbutz-owned. In 1995, change accelerated. Kibbutzim began to pay salaries based on the market value of a member’s work. As a result of such changes, the “renewed” kibbutz emerged. By 2010, 75 percent of Israel’s 248 non-religious kibbutzim fit into this new category.

The major reforms of the kibbutz movement began in the 1990s. This is a study of those reforms and the authors find that less successful kibbutzim were most receptive to reform, and reforms then spread through imitation from the economically weaker kibbutzim to the strong. The writers used organizational theories to predict how open or closed a group will be to change.

The kibbutz was an environment where early Zionists could live and work in a democratic and collective manner; the kibbutz was fundamental to Israeli society. This carefully researched and informative book will appeal to readers interested in democratic collectivism and Israeli society. This is the first evidence-based overview of changes that kibbutzim have gone through in the last thirty years. It gets to the heart of what the kibbutz experiment meant and while I do not agree totally with the reforms that have taken place, I have no choice but to go along with them. I was sorry to see the place I called home change so drastically but life is about change.


A Film By Karim Aïnouz (Madame Satã, Love for Sale)
Los Angeles Premiere!
Part gay romance, part inquisitive self-journey, FUTURO BEACH is a stunning examination of lives lost and found. Donato (Wagner Moura) works as a lifeguard at the spectacular but treacherous Praia do Futuro beach in Brazil; Konrad (Clemens Schick) is an ex-military thrill-seeker from Germany vacationing with a friend. After Donato saves Konrad from drowning, but fails to save his other friend, initial sexual sparks give way to a deeper, emotional connection. Donato decides to leave everything behind, including his ailing mother and younger brother, Ayrton, to travel back to Berlin with Konrad. There, he finds both confusion and liberation, and his journey for love soon turns into a deeper search for his own identity. Eight years later, an unexpected visit from Ayrton, brings all three men back together as they struggle to reconcile the pain of loss and longing, instinctively drawn to each other in search of hope and a brighter future.
106 Minutes • Drama • Not Rated • In German & Portuguese with English Subtitles
Wednesday, July 16th at 9:45pm
7920 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Note: Screening is open to the public and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis


a film by Eytan Fox (Yossi & JaggerThe BubbleYossi)

Los Angeles Premiere!

Set in contemporary Tel Aviv, six diverse best friends gather to watch the wildly popular UniverSong competition. Appalled by the Israeli entry, they decide to create their own and record it on a mobile phone. Unbeknownst to them, their performance is seen by the UniverSong judges and selected as Israel’s entry for next year’s competition. With a soundtrack provided by Babydaddy from Scissor Sisters, this hilarious comedy is a refreshing ode to music and friendship.

90 Minutes • Drama • Not Rated • In Hebrew with English Subtitles
Sunday, July 13th at 4:00pm
7920 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Note: Screening is open to the public and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis


a film by Yann Gonzalez

In the debut feature from Director Yann Gonzalez, young couple Ali (Kate Moran) and Mathias (Niels Schneider) invite a dream team to their place for an orgy – the Stud, the Star, the Slut and the Teen – and the partygoers end up baring their souls as well as their bodies. Leavened with campy humor and a wonderful electronic score by M83, this audacious film is a surprisingly affecting meditation on much more than sex. “Deliriously theatrical, flagrantly cinephilic, unabashedly provocative, Yann Gonzalez’s YOU AND THE NIGHT is the kind of movie that restores your faith in auteur filmmaking.” – Robert Koehler, Film Comment
98 Minutes • Drama • Not Rated • In French with English Subtitles
Saturday, July 12th at 9:30pm
631 W. 2nd St.
Downtown Los Angeles, 90012
Note: Screening is open to the public and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis



Starring Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi and Tess Amorim

Los Angeles Premiere With Director Daniel Ribeiro In Person!

Monday, July 14th at 7:00pm
7920 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90046

Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize and Teddy Award, Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival, Frameline Film Festival & Outfest
Leonardo is a blind teenager with an overprotective mother yearning for his independence. After deciding to study abroad to the disappointment of his best friend, Giovana, the arrival of a new student at school makes Leonardo rethink his plans.
96 Minutes • Drama • Not Rated • In Portuguese with English Subtitles

“THROUPLE”—- Let’s Make it Happen



Help make it happen

for “Throuple” and James Townsend!

written by James Townsend
(writer/director of “KISSING DARKNESS”)





Back in late 2007, IN THE PINK PRODUCTIONS set out to make their fourth film– a psychological-thriller starring James Townsend  (“Sideline Secrets”, “A Siren in the Dark”), Juan Luis, and Benjamin Gilbert (aka Caleb Carter).

The film originally started out as an experimental project inspired by the dark and twisted storytelling of directors such as David Lynch and Cronenberg. 

James Townsend had the basic story line and script in place. However, he wanted the film to be more “in the moment”. The three actors, started having regular meetings. In doing so, the story started to create itself as they all added in their own insight to current events surrounding their own lives and worked in actual conversations they were having about some of life’s tough questions. Soon, the line between fiction and reality was starting to blur andTHROUPLE was creating itself. 

Soon, the film started to gain attention in the Los Angeles area and GLBT film community. The cast started doing early publicity and had signings at local nightclubs and events. The film was slatted for a late 2008 DVD release and was being made available through several retailers, such as TLA, Amazon, Netflix and more. 
In addition, MTV’s TRUE LIFE, which had been following Benjamin around for one of their episodes, was wanting to come back and do a second episode featuring him and THROUPLE as an “I’m a gay filmmaker.” episode… 


With the film almost complete, after the typical obstacles of low budget film making (not enough budget, scheduling delays, etc), there was approximately three days of filming left to finalize the project. Being behind schedule, and having distributors asking for updates, in anticipation of getting the film into the festival circuit, it was time to bring the film to completion one way or another…

James called Benjamin and they agreed to conquer out the rest of the film as soon as possible!

However, with great sadness, the next few weeks would change everything… and, that is when things came to a haulting stop. 

In February 2009, Benjamin passed away… 

The film was put on the shelf…

Without Benjamin, there was no way to finish the film.  And, for the most part, the actors and crew simply did not have it within themselves to finish it without him.

Years later, THROUPLE has re-emerged. 

While the film has always remained on his mind, recently James Townsend, randomly stumbled upon a hard copy of the original script while moving storage boxes around. Picking up the script, the need to finish the film took hold…

As of recently, the script has been updated and revised… it is ready to be put in front of cameras!
 If you would like to read the screenplay, or have any questions, please

We hope to move forward, with getting the film financed, and securing a new cast to shoot the film, in completion from start to finish. 

Coming out of a bad relationship, Shane finds it too easy to fall for the outgoing David after a few drinks and a night of tangled sheets. Disappointed with end results, and realizing his heart jumped into rebound too quickly, it isn’t long before patience is lost and history repeats itself through a chance encounter with someone just as charming…
But as realizations lead to confrontations, and secrets emerge, a love of a different kind pushes itself into the lives of three young men connected in ways they have only just begun to discover.
Now, as lives intersect and the philosophies of love are challenged, the boys find themselves venturing into an emotional world of confusion, heartbreak, addiction, jealousy and more where nothing is quite what it seems…
In the game of love, it is always safe to say that three is a crowd!!!

Working hand in hand with our distributor of several years, and a tight film team, In The Pink Productions has produced several bestselling gay-themed films– majority of which have gone international!

Despite specializing in gay-themed films, we try to approach each story in a unique manner. We are not known for the typical boy-meets-boy storyline that is seen a hundred times amidst comic confusion and chaos. Instead, In The Pink Productions, has set out to make films that can appeal to anyone… murder mysteries, psychological thrillers, horror films, musicals, and more… the thing is, yes– our characters are gay… but we know and show that there is a lot more to tha gay community than your typical “boy meets boy” coming out story! 

There is a whole world of cinema possibilities out there waiting to tell their story…

Our films have included (click on titles for trailer/clips):

  1. ** Sideline Secrets (#7 BESTSELLING gay film of 2006!!!)
  1. ** Sideline Secrets 2: Darker Secrets
  1. ** A Siren in the Dark
  1. ** Unsolved Suburbia


  1. ** Luna Park (2013 TLA Gayby Nominee: Best Thriller)
  1. ** Kissing Darkness

These films are available through a long list of retailers that include Netflix, Blockbuster, Best Buy, Amazon and many more… 


(above: collection of past films) 



Making a film is a large undertaking.  Your funds will be used for both pre-production and the actual production itself.  Besides paying cast and crew, here are just a few of the things your contributions will be used for:

  • Equipment rentals/purchases (cameras, lights, etc)
  • Sound
  • Insurance
  • Location Rentals
  • Special effects
  • Props
  • Legal
  • Cast/Crew Payment
  • Food
  • Transportation



As mentioned, in 2007, the original cast consisted of James Townsend, Juan Luis and Caleb Carter. 

We are in need of a new cast!

If you are in the Los Angeles area, and interested in auditioning, please drop an email to: and be sure to put “THROUPLE submission” in the subject line.  As the project  is funded and moves forward, we will be in contact in regards to the audition process. 




Anything you can do to contribute to the funding. spread the word, etc. is very much appreciated. There is never such thing as “too much help”. If you can simply share the appropriate links to spread word about the project on Facebook, Twitter and other websites, that would be terrific! 

PLEASE spread the word of our project. Make some noise! Use the share tools above especially. Or refer people to our link:–4/x/33566

Whether you are posting an update on LinkedIn, updating your Facebook status, tweeting to your followers or sharing our video on your YouTube channel, EVERY little bit helps. The more you share this page via Indie Go-Go, the more Indie Go-Go will help promote the project. 

Need some incentive to share the word? When you do share this project with friends and family, email a link to where you shared the project or email a screen shot and you will get a special shout out in the credits of the films! 

In addition, we will be looking for music to feature in the film and much more. If you have a product and/or service you can offer to help us out with overall production, we would love to hear from you as well! 

Please note, that any and all donations to the project, as outlined via the IndieGoGo website rules/regulations does not alot for ownership of the finished film and/or profit sharing.



Find This Campaign On
 48 days left
This campaign started on Jun 23 and will close on August 10, 2014 (11:59pm PT).
Flexible Funding 


  • $5USD

    A big thanks for helping us out. Every little bit counts and we will be sure to let your contribution be known via our social media updates!

    0 out of 1000 claimed

  • $10USD
    Thank You 2

    Be listed in the SPECIAL THANKS section of the film’s end credits. Receive a SPECIAL THANKS credit on IMDB.

    0 out of 200 claimed

  • $25USD
    Signed Cast Picture

    Receive a signed photo of the new cast and be included on IMDB and in the film credits under “Special Thanks”

    0 out of 100 claimed

  • $50USD
    Watchful Eyes

    With a $50 donation, you will not only get a special thank you in the credits of the project, but you’ll also get to enjoy the finished film whenever you want. An autographed DVD of the final, completed film will be yours with this incentive as well as a special thank you in the credits.

    0 out of 50 claimed

  • $75USD
    Ready For Your Closeup

    If you are in the LA area, get a photo shoot with JTownsendPhotos — you name the shoot– headshots, portfolio development, erotic, underwear/swimsuit– it is up to you! Check out the JTownsendPhotos port. at to see previous work! The shoot is 2 hours and would include touchups of selected images. You must be in Los Angeles to claim this offer!

    0 out of 20 claimed

  • $100USD
    Study Those Lines

    Original signed screenplay of “THROUPLE” signed by the cast, plus copy of finished dvd, signed by cast. Special Thanks in the finished film’s credits.

    0 out of 20 claimed

  • $150USD
    Get a Piece…

    Receive an autographed original prop or piece of wardrobe from the film once shooting is complete, plus signed copy of finished dvd, and signed script.

    0 out of 20 claimed

  • $250USD
    Say My Name…

    For $200, a character in the film will be named after YOU! An autographed DVD of the final, completed film will also be yours with this incentive as well as a special thank you in the credits.

    0 out of 4 claimed

  • $500USD
    Party Time

    Come party with the cast & crew of THROUPLE during their wrap party! Location & dates will be dependent on completion of the film. Also receive an autographed DVD of the final film. Special thank you in the credits of the film and IMDB Page. A selected piece of memorabilia from the film, hand signed as well.

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • $1,000USD
    Producer Style

    Be listed as an Associate Producer on the project in the credits, the website and on the IMDb page. An autographed DVD of the final, completed series will also be yours with this incentive as well as a special thank you in the credits and a hand signed piece of memorabilia. Attend the wrap party. ** note: this does not grant you income/return on the film.

    0 out of 6 claimed

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Help make it happen
for Throuple and James Townsend!